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Ha Long Bay: Vietnam’s natural wonder

To give an idea of the beauty of Ha Long Bay, just think that it has been part of the UNESCO heritage since 1994 and in 2012 the Wonders Foundation officially named Halong Bay as one of the new seven natural wonders of the world. All these awards are more than deserved because the Bay contains in perfect balance suggestions, glimpses full of charm, landscapes that have the taste of other worlds or that seem to spring from the fantasy of a fantasy illustrator.

The name of this place, which seems suspended in time, has its etymological roots in an ancient legend. A bloody battle between men and dragons appears to have been fought in the Bay. These spit jades and other gems that formed the islets of the lagoon. The largest dragon fell into the water creating the bay. This would explain the fabulous colors of the sea and the name of the place: Ha Long means, in fact, the descending Dragon.

Ha Long Bay is located in the Gulf of Tonkin and is part of the Quang Ninh province. It is about 164 km from Hanoi and is made up of three thousand limestone islands that rise from the sea water rising towards the sky. The scenery is particularly fascinating, especially during the early hours of dawn, when a thin mist gives the Bay a languid and melancholy appearance.

IN HA LONG BAY ABOARD A JUNK

The best way to visit this place is with junks, typical local boats, or kayaking. Going through the body of water of a bright green, skirting the spectacular limestone cliffs that house karst caves, is a truly suggestive experience. The islets have been worked by atmospheric agents and have taken on forms of extraordinary beauty over time. The vegetation that covers them is lush. The green of the plants is reflected in that of the sea, contrasting strongly with the blue of the sky.

At sunset the lights soften and give new profiles to the islets. Through the limestone islands you can see the sampan, typical wooden boats, which return to the shore. The bay contains 160 km of coastline where the white beaches, with a typical exotic appearance, alternate with ravines to be discovered by boat. The largest island is Cat ba. Over half of its territory is part of the national park (Cát Bà National Park) where various species of animals are protected, including monkeys, and more than 70 varieties of birds. The island is an excellent starting point for cruises in the lagoon.

A SPECTACULAR CARSIC PHENOMENON

The karst caves, there are several in the various islands, are worth a visit. Among them, the Thien Cung cave always attracts a large number of tourists. Located in the Dau Go islet, 25 meters above sea level, it offers a show of rare beauty. Of course, there are also legends about this place which is already full of charm and suggestions. Seabed rich in exotic marine fauna and submerged landscapes of immense naturalistic value are one of the main attractions of the Bay.

Among the islets, the one known by the name of Dau Nguoi Islet is singular, reminiscent of a gigantic human head that seems to emerge sleepily from the waters. The best time to admire this natural spectacle is during sunset, when the sun gives red reflections to the islet and the waters. Also worth seeing are the characteristic fishing villages, evidence of the culture and traditions of the place, not to be missed on a trip to Vietnam.

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